A day before the notice, a Delhi-Dubai SpiceJet flight was diverted to Karachi due to fuel indicator malfunction, while faulty weather radar forced another to make a mid-air U-turn and return to Kolkata.

SpiceJetIMAGE SOURCE: JONATHAN PAYNE VIA FLICKR (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Atom Aviation Wednesday, July 06, 2022 - 15:51

After multiple flights faced technical malfunctions over the last few weeks, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday, July 6, issued a show cause notice to SpiceJet. There have been eight incidents of such malfunctions in the last 18 days, the aviation watchdog said in its notice. "The review (of incidents) transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system related failure) have resulted in degradation of the safety margins," the notice stated.

The DGCA has given SpiceJet three weeks to respond to the notice. Apart from the safety concerns, the DGCA also pulled up SpiceJet over non-payment to suppliers. "Financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has also revealed that the airline is operating on 'cash-and-carry' (model) and suppliers/approved vendors are not being paid on a regular basis leading to shortage of spares and frequent invoking of MELs (minimum equipment lists)," it stated.

The DGCA said SpiceJet has failed to "establish safe, efficient and reliable air services" under terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Reacting to the DGCA notice, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia asserted that passenger safety was paramount. "Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated & course-corrected," he said in a tweet.

A day before the DGCA issued the notice, as many as three SpiceJet flights faced issues. A Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a malfunction in the fuel indicator, while a Kandla-Mumbai flight made a priority landing at Mumbai due to a cracked outer windshield. Another flight, scheduled from Kolkata to Chongqing in China, made a mid-air U-turn and returned to Kolkata due to a dysfunctional weather radar. 

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